Navigating a Central Slip Tendon Injury: Recovery & Care

This article examines the central slip tendon injury, a condition affecting finger extension. Learn about its origins, from athletic mishaps to direct cuts, and the therapeutic journey towards restoration.

Jun 2021

Table of contents

What is a central slip tendon injury?

A central slip tendon injury means that you have ruptured the tendon over the middle part of the top of your finger. You will not be able to straighten your finger. If the tendon ruptures without harm to the skin, this is called a closed injury. This is particularly common when the finger is hit in a bent position by a fast-moving ball.

When the tendon and the skin are cut, it is classified as an open injury. This usually occurs from a laceration.

Treatment may differ depending on the type of injury. Initially, your finger will be swollen, and you will be given a compression bandage to reduce the swelling.

Dressings will be required to protect the wound. Sutures stay in for ten days, during which time you cannot get your hand wet.

To help better assess your injury, complete the DASH questionnaire.

What may I experience?

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Inability to straighten your finger

What should I do?

A custom made splint will be made to immobilise your finger in the correct position for six weeks. It will need to be worn all the time (except while doing your exercises). The therapist will provide you with exericse splints as well as educating you regarding specific exercises. The exercises are progressed on a weekly basis. If you have a wound, we will also work on scar management. Book an appointment now.

Capner Splint and Pop Cast
Central Slip Tendon Splint
Central Slip Tendon Splint
Central Slip Tendon Splint

What can I expect?

By following The Hands Physio recommendations and treatments, your finger should recover to bend and straighten again within six to eight weeks. You should have full tendon strength by ten to twelve weeks.

For more information and treatments options, fill in our New Patient form.

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